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Freud, S. (1882). Letter from Sigmund Freud to Martha Bernays, July 14, 1882. Letters of Sigmund Freud 1873-1939, 13-15.

Freud, S. (1882). Letter from Sigmund Freud to Martha Bernays, July 14, 1882. Letters of Sigmund Freud 1873-1939, 13-15

Letter from Sigmund Freud to Martha Bernays, July 14, 1882 Book Information Previous Up Next

Sigmund Freud

Vienna, Friday
July 14, 1882

Fair mistress, sweet love,

I beg leave to inform you that your gracious letter wherein you allow me to take a pilgrimage to your fair eyes hath made me mighty happy and that I am packing my satchel in order to learn if it be merely a fond glance I can expect from you or a kiss from your lips as well. And in so far as a traveler and stranger enjoys all manner of privileges and rights, you must not take it amiss if I desire more than one. Remember the words of an Anglo-Saxon poet who invented many gay and sad plays and himself acted in them, one William Shakespeare:

Journeys end in lovers meeting,

Every wise man's son doth know

and how he goes on to ask:

What is love? 'tis not hereafter;

Present mirth hath present laughter;

What's to come is still unsure:

In delay there lies no plenty;

Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,

Youth's a stuff will not endure.

But should you not understand these frolicsome lines, consult none other than A. W. Schlegel's1 translation of Twelfth Night; or, What You Will.

So if it pleaseth you let us descend from the lofty art of poetry to common prose and allow your servant to tell when he hopes to be near you. Your brother Eli hath amicably stretched out a helping hand with a free ticket as far as the frontier of this empire. Thereafter beginneth the realm of poverty, as the man of your choice hath more claims to the kingdom of heaven than to the treasures of this earth.

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